With the forthcoming publication of Voices of a People’s History of the United States in the 21st Century, a new collection edited by Anthony Arnove and Haley Pessin, we are proud to share a series of excerpts from the book, which will be published individually each week on the Seven Stories blog until the book's release.
In this excerpt, adapted from a speech addressed to the 15,000 marchers at the 2020 Brooklyn March for Black Trans Lives, Okra Project Founder Ianne Fields Stewart explores what it would mean to truly eradicate transphobia, to "bring that violence into the light and crush it beneath our feet."
A new companion to the classic collection edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, Voices of a People’s History of the United States in the 21st Century brings together more than 100 activist texts on social and economic justice that have shaped the last 22 years. The editors, Arnove and Pessin, offer a curated collection of voices of hope and resistance from Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, the struggle for Indigenous liberation, activist groups for immigrant rights, environmentalist movements, disability justice organizing, and frontline workers during the global pandemic who spoke out against the life-threatening conditions of their labor.
Included in this new book are writings by Angela Y. Davis, Nick Estes, Colin Kaepernick, Rebecca Solnit, Christian Smalls, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Howard Zinn, Rev. William Barber, Bree Newsome, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Tarana J. Burke, Dream Defenders, Sins Invalid, Mariame Kaba, Naomi Klein, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Linda Sarsour, Chelsea E. Manning, Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, Julian Brave NoiseCat, H. Melt, and others. Together, their words remind us that history is made not only by the rich and powerful, but by ordinary people taking collective action.
Ianne Fields Stewart is a Black transfeminine actor, storyteller, and activist and is the founder of The Okra Project, which works to address food insecurity in Black transgender communities. Stewart gave the following speech before a crowd of fifteen thousand people at the 2020 Brooklyn March for Black Trans Lives, the largest such gathering to date.
IANNE FIELDS STEWART, "TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF TRANS OPPRESSION" (June 14, 2020)